Consenses art project unites students’ talents


photo courtesy of Valerie Weitz

Senior Valerie Weitz plays the guitar to showcase her musical talent. Weitz will be involved in the Consenses Art Project this year.

By Emily Wang, Online Arts Editor

A new kind of art project has come to Churchill: the Consenses Art Project.

The premise of the project is simple: it will be a chain reaction of art works. The first artist will create a work of art based off a photo of a subject, and then the resulting art will be given to another artist. That artist will make his or her own artwork based on the work of the previous artist.

Eventually, there will be five complete pieces of work stemming from one subject. The CHS Consenses project will have a total of three chains with five artists each; the different types of medium used include: photography, cosmetics, music, paint and fashion design.

“It’s like artist telephone: one person gets a work, and they draw inspiration from it, then that person gives their work to another artist of a different medium, and that artist draws inspiration from the work they were given,” fashion designer junior Libby Spriggs said.

Art History and Ceramics teacher Paul Dermont is starting the new project at CHS and will be overseeing it.

Dermont got the idea for the project after visiting Martha’s Vineyard and seeing musician Sally Taylor’s Consenses project there. As a child, Taylor was diagnosed with dyslexia, making her realize that everyone interprets things differently; thus, she decided to create the Consenses project which appeals to all five senses.

The project is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year, as each artist takes approximately three weeks to complete his or her artwork.

At the end, all the different works will be given to a set designer who will follow the theme of the pieces and make a set that will simultaneously house the works. After the artworks have been displayed in the April art show, the students will decide what to do with the project, such as donating it to the school or local library.

Most students learned of the project by hearing Dermont talk about it in class.

According to Dermont, the theme of the CHS Consenses project will have to remain a secret so the unveiling at the spring art show will be a surprise.

The Consenses project is not a school project, so this allows for students to explore their creativity without being restricted by the guidelines and grades typically involved with school projects. It will also allow students not enrolled in an art class at school to participate in an art project.

According to junior photographer Jimmy Stempien, he has always enjoyed art, but was never able to take any classes, so the Consenses project seemed like a good way to start getting involved.

The artists will face the difficult challenge of creating a piece of art not from their own personal experiences or ideas, but based on the essence of another work of art.

“I think the project will be challenging because usually when I write music it’s coming from bunch of experiences, not just one thing that I’m seeing and then putting my emotion into,” senior musician Valerie Weitz said.

Dermont hopes the project will help people realize if they have learning challenges, such as dyslexia, those challenges and differences are not just hindrances, but can be used to channel art.

However, the project is not only about the creative process of art, but also about the social aspect of bringing different people with different views together.

According to Weitz, she hopes to bond with other fellow artists while experiencing a completely new way of creating art as creating art is a form of self-expression and an automatic way to get to know a person.